The National Aphasia Association defines aphasia as an impairment of language, affecting the production or comprehension of speech and ability to write. This communication disorder is typically acquired after a brain injury resulting from an accident or stroke. Nearly 180,000 Americans acquire aphasia each year. Despite efforts to increase awareness about aphasia, via organizations such as the National Aphasia Association, general knowledge is still limited. In 2000 Elman and colleagues collected data on the number of news articles that mentioned the term “aphasia” and compared it to similar health conditions with comparable or lower prevalence rates. They found that these latter conditions have a significantly higher representation in US newspaper articles as compared to aphasia. We replicated Elman et al., (2000) to look at what has happened over the past two decades. Although we predicted the number of news articles on the topic would increase, we posited that awareness of aphasia would continue to be underrepresented relative to the other medical conditions. Our results confirmed this prediction and indicate a need for further research into ways we can increase public awareness, thereby lending support to people with aphasia and improving their quality of life.
Faria, Yvonne M.; McNulty, Fiona; Gonzalez, Veronica C.; and Conner, Peggy S., "Promoting Aphasia Awareness" (2018). CUNY Academic Works.